January 22, 2013

Volunteer Spotlight: Sarah Mathews

Simone, Sarah, & Tigger
Simone, Sarah, & Tigger

My name is Sarah Mathews and I became involved with Carolina Care Bullies in June of 2011. My
first interaction with a pit bull was when I lived in Atlanta. My roommate owned an older rescued pit
bull named Axys. I honestly didn't know about any of the stereotypes about pit bulls and just thought
she was an awesome dog. The funniest thing about her was that she would come into the room where
you were and let out a famous pit bull fart and then walk away. Growing up, I was never allowed to
have dogs so I really enjoyed having her around. After living in Raleigh for a while and going through
a painful breakup, I decided it was time to get my first dog. I looked at various rescues and finally decided I wanted a brindle pit bull mix named Tigger. So in August of 2006, he came on an adoption trial and I fell in love.

Once I had Tigger, I started to learn more and more about the pit bull stereotypes. I would take him on walks and though he was constantly smiling and doesn't have a mean bone in his body, some people would cross the street to get away from us. Tigger's past life was a rough one and to this day, he still has fears from that life. It hurts me to the core to see what people do to this breed and yet they still come away from these situations happy and loving life and just wanting the companionship of a human. I enjoy spoiling Tigger to this day to make sure he knows this is what life should be like. Many of friends asked me why I didn't get a second dog so Tigger would have a friend to play with. I would explain that while he likes dogs, I know he likes having all of my attention.

Sarah & Tigger
Sarah & Tigger
But in 2011, I really wanted to get more involved in pit bull rescue. I noticed CCB was asking for people who were willing to dogsit foster dogs when their foster families were out of town. So I decided that was something I could do. I was afraid to foster because I just knew I would get too attached, but I thought dogsitting would be great. I could still help out, but would know I only had the dog for a short period of time. So I e-mailed to find out more information and there was a dog named Jewel who needed someone to take care of her 2 different times in June. Then I started looking at pictures of their adoptable dogs so I could see what Jewel looked like. That's when I saw the most beautiful brindle pit bull I had ever seen. A 10 month old pit bull named Simone. I was in love.

Simone at NC State
Simone at NC State
I kept telling myself you can't get a second dog. Then I decided I would ask about her and see what they said. Surely they would tell me something that would make me realize I couldn't adopt her. But no, I was told she was perfect. Now what do I do? I decided I would go meet her and thought maybe I'd see something in her that I didn't like, maybe she would be too hyper for me or too shy. I made the drive to Hillsborough and the moment I saw her in the backyard, I knew I had to have her. I didn't care what I had to do to make that happen. I started asking about the procedure to adopt her. I was so afraid someone would snatch her up before I could get her! Luckily my adoption application was approved and we decided when I would pick her up and start my 10 day adoption trial. The first night I could tell Tigger wasn't so sure about having her here. I was afraid things wouldn't work out. As much as I loved Simone, I knew if Tigger wasn't okay with it, it just wasn't going to work. But by the second day, I started to see that he liked having her here and having someone to play with him. So on June 30, 2011, Simone's adoption became official!

Simone is the sweetest and most loving dog. She wiggles with excitement when she meets people. I hope someday to have her trained to be a therapy dog. She is currently a canine blood donor at NC State and is a very good donor because she's so easygoing. I also think that she keeps Tigger young. He turned 8 in December and even though he has a gray face, he is still young at heart. They play constantly and love to snuggle with each other on the couch. After adopting Simone from CCB, I decided to become more involved by attending adoption events and parades. Then I was able to start hosting adoption events and that has been very fun for me. I enjoy telling people about pit bulls and about CCB's mission. I like being able to change minds and it is so rewarding to help the breed I love. I have made many friends through volunteering with CCB and met some awesome dogs. I plan to always have a pit bull in my life...I can't imagine life with one!

December 11, 2012

Featured Happy Ending: Tulip

Anudder Happy Ending

by Tulip 

Hello, everybody, dis is Tulip! Mama says dat I have been a good girl, so I should write and tell you all about my happy ending and how fings are going in my furever home! (I am working on trying to use a dot at de end of a sentence. Like dat. I prefer to use a dot and a stick! Like dat! Because it shows I am happy! But I will try to use a dot sometimes. OK!) 

Today is Fanksgiving---I am hoping some turkey and udder fings fall on de floor, but even if dey do not, I am counting my blessings--one, two, free!--and finking about how fankful I am for de people at CCB who rescued me and helped me find my home! It was a big scary road sometimes dat started when somebody won me (I am a prize!) in a cruelty case. Den I was kept at a shelter dat usually does not let pit bulls be rescued or adopted, but I was lucky and got to go and stay wif my wonderful foster person Amy and her doggies so dat I could get healfy (I had worms! Free or four kinds!) and learn to be a dog and use my manners.

Would you like to know how I found my furever home? Mama says it is okay to tell you dat she was not really looking to adopt anudder dog. She already had my sister, Wrigley (who is a pit bull/lab mix), and dey were doing pretty well. Mama does a little volunteering for CCB and was my Facebook friend (I bet some of you are too!), so she said she could babysit me while my foster person went on a big vacation. She fought I would stay for a few days and dat would be it. But you know what? I really liked it at Mama's house, and she and I got to be really good friends super fast! It was pretty easy for me to fit right in and lots of de people I met fought I was just about de cutest doggie dey had seen in a while. Mama started to fink dat maybe it would be okay for Wrigley to have a sister, and--I am just a dog, I do not know all dese fings, but I fought dat was a perfect idea! She asked if she could adopt me, and de nice people at CCB said, "Yes, OK!"

We got some super help from Rae at first, because it can be a little complicated for two girl dogs to learn to be BFFs. Wrigley and I were good girls during our shutdown, but we were REALLY happy when Mama said it was okay for us to be togedder more! I really love my big sister, and one of my favorite fings is to snuggle wif her on de bed or de couch. Of course, I also really like to snuggle wif Mama. She says I am like her shadow because I am usually pretty close to wherever she is and I like to follow her all over de house. Some of my favorite fings are going for walks, doing zoomies in my yard, and playing wif tennis balls. I fink it is really wonderful dat Mama plays dat game---I can have as many tennis balls as I want! Here is my advice on de best fing to do wif a tennis ball. First, chew some of de fuzz off. Second, chomp down hard and pop it. Den it is ready to be used as a chew toy and you can tear it up into tiny pieces and leave dem all over de house! Some dogs like to chase tennis balls in de yard, and yes, OK, I will do dat too.

I have learned a lot of fings since I came here to live, and Mama says I am doing a really good job wif my leash manners and basic commands. I am also making lots of human and doggie friends in de neighborhood. Somebody told me dat I was being a good ambassador for pit bulls. I am not sure what dat means, but it sounds like an important job, and I fink I am up to de task! I even got to go to school for a few classes wif dis really cool trainer named Samanfa. She knows a lot of CCB dogs and does a lot to help dem. I did a good job in class and even got a certificate! I hope I will get to go to school again because I really like classes! And certificates! Since I can jump really high and run really fast, some people fink dat I would be really good at somefing called agility. I do not really know what dat is, but Mama said you get lots of treats for learning to do it, so I bet I will like it! Because I! Like! Treats!

Anyway, I just want to say fanks again to everybody for helping me have such a happy ending! Dis was de best Fanksgiving ever, and Mama says, since I have been a very good girl, a big old fat man in a red suit is going to bring me special treats and toys next monf! So!

October 24, 2012

Featured Happy Ending: Lacey & Bentley

by Shane & Melissa Williams  
   In October of 2011 we had to make one of the hardest decisions of our life and put to sleep our 9 yr old pitbull Titan.  He had been diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) and it had spread to his lungs. Then in February 2012 we were in Greensboro visiting some friends and met Carolina Care Bullies at an event at PetCo. 
     We friended CCB on Facebook and soon there after Bentley’s picture popped up on the page.  We had just bought a new house in a neighborhood named Bentley Park.  Well, we couldn’t deny that this was a sign for us and we felt it was time for us to get another pitty and in turn give an awesome dog a “furever” home.  We adopted Bentley, a handsome, sweet, playful, energetic boy.  We don’t know what he is mixed with our vet says maybe lab or border collie. He loves being outside and will point at anything that flies.
After about six months we decided that we wanted to expand our little family. We had also lost our miniature dachshund Lucy in April. She was also a rescue and lived to be nearly 17 years old. So to help our hearts continue to heal we started looking to find Bentley a sister.  We began our search with CCB again, ofcourse.  We made several inquiries and worked with Rae to find the perfect fit for our family.  Lacey Belle seemed to be that perfect fit.  She is good with other dogs as well as kids. We had an initial meet and greet on our way home from vacation. The only question we had when we left was how soon could we adopt her?  Lacey had been with CCB longer than any other foster, and we felt the unique opportunity to end her time as a foster dog. We wanted to give her the “furever” home that she deserves. 

     Lacey and Bentley are just like any other siblings…They play, rough house, snuggle, and enjoy each other’s company. They both have adjusted to their new home well, and we are lucky and privileged to have them as our pups. We love coming home and being greeted by their wagging tails and pitty smiles.  They love just hanging out on the screened in porch and barking at the neighbors horses.  We want to thank CCB, Melissa McAllister(Bentley’s foster mom), and Dena Bates(Lacey’s last foster mom) for bringing them into our lives. 

October 18, 2012

The 2nd Half of Life.....saving a senior pitbull

    Anyone that opens their hearts to a dog in    need knows that feeling of seeing something evolve. A puppy evolves into a trained eager to please teenage dog who doesn’t really know how close they came to not being “one of the lucky ones” a teenage dog seems to take the chance to say THANK YOU with energy and adaptability as they spring into life land on all four or three paws ready to take on the world one potential adopter at a time. A senior dog is cautious, they have seen to much they remember so much they take it slow watching and waiting to see what’s in store for them, they have a “jaded” view of what’s out there in the big bad world.  Most rescuers have that same “jaded” view of the world; at least I know I do.  Three years ago I had NO CLUE of what we have as nation, as humans have created in regards to the “pet” population.  Now I’m very proud to look into my “jaded” view of the world each day and know that I’m living that saying “Saving just one dog won’t change the world, but it will surely change the world of that one dog “Ginger is my 7th foster, and is the oldest dog I have ever had the pleasure of getting to know on a personal level.   Most people who say her and got to know her during her stay at the shelter would say I was wrong for calling her “jaded” at all, since she was a very sociable dog and enjoyed any and all human contact that had been offered to her, and seemed very indifferent to other creatures that passed her way.  What I saw was a dog that was just happy to have a second chance at a time that was her second half of life, at 9 she was almost more than half way thru her life span.  But she was none the less not all too sure about this “happy home” I was bringing her into, can’t really blame the poor gal given the condition she was in.  Ginger is now thriving, and showing me every single day that life is what you make of it, and when you are dealt a good hand…you better play the hell out of it.   The number one question asked to most fosters is “how can you let them leave once you fall in love with them”, after several people letting me know that bringing a dog with “limited” time left into their family would just be too hard on them I found myself saying this one might just be sticking around.  How do you put a time frame on love…. “isn’t it better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all “Yes a senior dog has probably less time left than what they have lived already…but they also have so much LOVE born of the gratefulness of someone believing that their life isn’t over just because they have some gray fur, or health issues, or whatever other reason made someone give up on them in the first place.  A senior dog wasn’t something I had given much thought to honestly before Ginger, but now I’m finding myself with this itch….an itch to help people look past this “limited” time mentality and see how amazing and gratifying loving a senior dog can be, even if you haven’t loved him/her since they were young.  To anyone that has opened their hearts and homes to a dog in their older years you have my thanks and appreciation of seeing what I now see!  Ginger and I are proud to join your ranks to help educated about the joys of the 2nd half of life.